September 30, 2014

Southwest FL

Southwest FL - Foreclosures - Hardest Hit

Art Levy | 2/1/2011

Lee County Foreclosures
Lee County has been a hotbed of foreclosures. More than 900 residents have signed up for financial assistance through the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund.

Since late October, more than 900 Lee County homeowners in danger of foreclosure have applied for financial assistance from a Florida Housing Finance Corp. pilot program called the Florida Hardest-Hit Fund. The program uses recaptured TARP funds to help unemployed or underemployed homeowners pay mortgages for up to 18 months while the homeowners look for work or a better job. Another component of the program helps homeowners who find work bring delinquent mortgages up to date.

The program has plenty of money — Florida’s share of the federal money totals $1 billion — but it hasn’t been easy to get banks and mortgage holders to take it. Each of the 18 states, including Florida, that has received the federal money has been free to administer the program as it wishes. The lack of uniformity in how the states run the programs initially led the banks and mortgage holders to shy away, but now more are participating, says Cecka Green, Florida Housing Finance Corp.’s communications director. The program got a boost when government-sponsored mortgage holders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac urged mortgage holders to get on board. Green says more than 12 have signed on so far.

Lee county Foreclosures
(November 2010)
City
Foreclosures
Fort Myers
588
Cape Coral
550
Lehigh Acres
388
Bonita Springs
130
North Fort Myers
78
Estero
43
Fort Myers Beach 18
Source: RealtyTrac

The pilot program, meanwhile, will lose its “pilot” status this month and go statewide. To qualify, homeowners must live in the house and total household income must be at or below 140% of the area’s median income. Also, the mortgage can’t be more than 180 days past due and must have an existing principal balance of less than $400,000. The lender will also have to agree to participate. Homeowners can apply online at flhardesthithelp.org.

Tags: Southwest

Digital Access

DIRECT DIGITAL ACCESS
Add digital to your current subscription, purchase a single ditgital issue, or start a new subscription to Florida Trend.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
An overview of the features and articles in this month's issue of Florida Trend.

ACCESS THIS ISSUE »

Florida Business News

Florida Trend Video Pick

Making Waves: Creating a Global Culture of Innovation
Making Waves: Creating a Global Culture of Innovation

As a modern inventor, Amish Parashar shares his unique insights into the importance of innovation culture, a movement that has defined great companies such as Google and Apple.

Earlier Videos | Viewpoints@FloridaTrend

Ballot Box

Comic-book and gaming stores are expanding across Florida. The state's major comic & video game themed conventions continue to generate increased interest and revenue. What's your level of participation in the world of comics & gaming?

  • All in! I love gaming and/or comics! We're in a new Golden Age of entertainment!
  • I manage the occasional game or graphic novel, from time to time...
  • Does Candy Crush count?
  • Are you kidding? I don't have time for any of that stuff...

See Results

Ballot Box
Subscribe